Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (25-5, 13-4)
Bad Guys: Iowa State Cyclones (20-9, 9-7)
When to Watch: Saturday, March 9th @ 1:00 p.m.
Where to Watch: Hilton Coliseum | Ames, Iowa
How to Watch: ESPNews | WatchESPN
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: Iowa State -1.5 (OddsShark)
|THE STARTERS||Pts / Reb|
|POINT GUARD||Davide Moretti (6-3/175)||11.3 / 2.6*|
|SHOOTING GUARD||Matt Mooney (6-3/200)||10.8 / 3.2*|
|SMALL FORWARD||Jarrett Culver (6-5/195)||17.9 / 3.7*|
|POWER FORWARD||Tariq Owens (6-10/205)||8.7 / 5.5|
|CENTER||Norense Odiase (6-9/245)||4.2 / 5.3|
|THE BENCH||Pts / Reb|
|SIXTH MAN||Kyler Edwards (6-3/200)||5.7 / 2.4|
|SEVENTH MAN||Brandone Francis (6-5/215)||6.3 / 2.4|
|EIGHTH MAN||Deshawn Corprew (6-5/210)||6.0 / 3.8|
|NINTH MAN||Malik Ondigo (6-10/215)||1.5 / 1.5|
|TENTH MAN||Josh Mballa (6-7/215)||0.9 / 0.3|
|ELEVENTH MAN||Khavon Moore (6-7/215)||0.0 / 0.0|
|THE STARTERS||Pts / Reb|
|POINT GUARD||Nick Weiler-Babb (6-5/205)||9.3 / 4.1*|
|SHOOTING GUARD||Lindell Wiggington (6-2/188)||13.0 / 3.8|
|SMALL FORWARD||Tyrese Haliburton (6-5/160)||6.7 / 3.3|
|POWER FORWARD||Talen Horton-Tucker (6-4/238)||12.2 / 5.2|
|CENTER||Michael Jacobson (6-9/231)||11.7 / 5.8|
|THE BENCH||Pts / Reb|
|SIXTH MAN||Cameron Lard (6-9/225)||6.1 / 2.8|
|SEVENTH MAN||George Conditt IV (6-10/208)||2.0 / 1.5|
|EIGHTH MAN||Zoran Talley, Jr. (6-7/190)||1.5 / 0.9|
|NINTH MAN||Terrence Lewis (6-6/198)||4.4 / 2.0|
|TENTH MAN||Marial Shayok (6-6/201)||18.7 / 5.2|
1. Stats. We are near the end. It feels like we pretty much started with Iowa State to start the Big 12 season and now the Red Raiders end conference play with the Cyclones. Just like last time, Iowa State is fantastic offensively, one of the top teams in the nation in offense and a decent tick below defensively. Things aren’t going as swimmingly as they did early in the season. The Cyclones have last 4 of their last 5, their only win coming in blowout fashion at home against Oklahoma. In those four losses, In two of those losses, ISU had trouble getting to the free throw line and also in those losses, ISU just didn’t shoot well from outside the three-point line. And defensively, the Cyclones really struggle in those losses. That’s where things are falling apart.
2. Scouting. ISU’s leading scorer, Shayok may be out against Texas Tech. He was out against West Virginia and he was in a walking boot. You’d wonder with Iowa State not having a ton to play for that they may not give it their absolute all and play Shayok. Besides that, I was afraid of Iowa State’s offensive lineup since the start of the season and since the last time, Lard is available and will play. And you should know that Haliburton, Shayok, and Jacobson are absolutely elite scorers, Haliburton does it without having the ball in his hands, while Wigginton does need to have the ball.
3. How They Match Up. When Texas Tech dropped this game at home, I wrote then that I thought that Iowa State was a bad match-up because of their overall length. They essentially start 4 guys who are 6’5″ and they can all score. At that time, I had my doubts about not having good enough defenders on the floor for Texas Tech to guard each position. I think Iowa State has maybe regressed in recent weeks and Texas Tech has gotten better defensively as the season has progressed. I’m not as worried about the matchup offensively, it’s making sure that the Texas Tech defense slows down the Cyclones. They’re going to want to just run and score and I still don’t think the Texas Tech offense can really keep pace with Iowa State’s level if they’re on their game.
4. Reading Material. Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson – Iowa State players hope closed-door meeting brings back missing unity:
Iowa State had a players-only meeting Thursday.
Marial Shayok and Nick Weiler-Babb, two of the three seniors to be honored after Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against Texas Tech, rounded up everyone in the locker room. That’s the majority of what we know, and really, what was said and who said it doesn’t matter.
The positive thing is that players recognized there is a problem. They took a step in trying to do something about it, which needed to happen after last week’s craziness that started with a rougher-than-usual practice, included a locker room altercation, and eventually morphed into a 15-point loss at West Virginia.
“We spoke among ourselves — an in-house meeting,” said Shayok, whose status for Saturday’s game will be a game-time decision. “We tried to let it be known that everybody is going to finish it out the right way for each other.”
SI’s Michael Beller – Picks: Rivalry Clashes Lead a Critical Final Weekend of the Regular Season:
The Red Raiders look like the Big 12’s best chance to get a team to the Final Four. They’ve won eight straight games, beating Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU in that stretch, and are on the cusp of at least a share of the Big 12 title. Iowa State is the only team in the conference they’ve yet to beat this season. The Cyclones, however, are reeling, losers of four of their last five, and five of their last seven. They’re safely in the NCAA tournament field, but they’re sliding down the seed list, and that could get even more dramatic over the next two weeks. They’re set to play Kansas or Baylor in their first Big 12 tourney game, depending on how the seeds shake out. If they lose on Saturday and then lose that game, a team that was among the top-16 seeds when the Selection Committee did its midseason reveal in February could be all the way down at a No. 7 or 8 seed.
5. Official Site. The official site has their preview right here:
No. 8 Texas Tech can clinch its first-ever Big 12 Conference Championship on Saturday with a win at Iowa State at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa after earning a 71-50 win over Texas on Monday to control their own destiny. The Red Raiders (25-5, 13-4 Big 12) are currently tied atop the Big 12 standings with Kansas State (23-7, 13-4 Big 12) going into the regular season’s final day. The Wildcats will host Oklahoma at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas.
Texas Tech, which is on a program-best eight-game conference winning streak and 20.4 margin of victory in those games, is playing for its first conference title since winning the Southwest Conference’s regular-season championship in 1996. The program has won 12 regular-season titles in its history, six in the SWC era and six Border Conference championships. Along with conference title aspirations, the Red Raiders are looking to snap a seven-game losing streak at Iowa State with their last win in Ames coming in 2011. The Cyclones handed Tech its only home loss this season, a 68-64 decision on Jan. 16 at the United Supermarkets Arena. ISU is coming off a 90-75 loss to West Virginia on Wednesday and is currently 12-3 at home this season and 5-3 in conference play on its home court.